Victoria Wood


Victoria Wood

Infobox Comedian
name = Victoria Wood


caption =
birthname =
birthdate = birth date and age|1953|05|19|df=y
location = Prestwich, Lancashire
height = 5' 5" (1.65 m)
death_date =
death_place =
notable role =
salary =
networth =
spouse =
former spouse = Geoffrey Durham
academyawards =
baftaawards = Best Television Actress
2007 "Housewife, 49"
Best Single Drama
2007 "Housewife, 49"
Best Light Entertainment Performance
1986 "Victoria Wood As Seen On TV"
britishcomedyawards = Best Live Stand Up
1991
2001
Best Female Comedy Performer
1995
Writer of the Year
2000 "Dinnerladies"
Lifetime Achievement Award
2005
website =
footnotes =

Victoria Wood CBE (born 19 May 1953 in Prestwich, Lancashire) is a BAFTA award winning English comedian, actor, singer and writer, educated at Bury Grammar Girls' School. Wood has written and starred in sketches, plays, films and sitcoms, and her live stand-up comedy act is interspersed with her own compositions, which she accompanies on piano.cite book
last = Brandwood
first = Neil
title= Victoria Wood – The Biography
edition = 1st Edition
year = 2002
publisher = Boxtree
location = London
id = ISBN 1-85227-982-6
pages =
]

Much of her humour is grounded in everyday life, and abounds with references to popular British media and even brand names of quintessentially British products. She is noted for her skills in observing culture, and in satirising social classes.cite web
last =Duguid
first =Mark
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Wood, Victoria (1953-)
work =
publisher =British Film Institute
date =2003-07
url=http://www.screenonline.org.uk/people/id/578938/index.html
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
]

She started her career in 1974 by winning the ATV talent show "New Faces". It wasn't until the 1980s though that she began to establish herself as a comedy star, with award-winning television series such as "Victoria Wood As Seen On TV" and becoming one of Britain's most popular stand-up comedians.

In 1999, she wrote and starred in the (again, award-winning) sitcom "dinnerladies" . [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = The custard.tv guide to... dinnerladies
work =
publisher =custard.tv
date =2004
url = http://www.thecustard.tv/shows/dinnerladies.html
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-09-17
] In 2006, she won two BAFTA awards for her one-off drama for ITV1, "Housewife, 49".

Wood frequently uses a string of associated actors in some of her output. These include Julie Walters, Duncan Preston and Celia Imrie.

Career

Early years

Wood began her showbusiness career as an undergraduate, appearing on the TV talent show "New Faces" while studying drama at the University of Birmingham. This led to her appearance in a sketch show featuring the winners of that series, "The Summer Show". [cite web|url=http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/488970|title=BFI Film & TV Database on The Summer Show|Publisher=BFI|date=2007-03-29] Her first big break was as a novelty act on the BBC's consumer affairs programme "That's Life!" in 1976. Wood had first met long-term collaborator Julie Walters in the early 1970s, when Wood applied for Manchester Polytechnic, and coincidentally met up once more when they appeared together in the same theatre revue, "In At The Death", in 1978 (for which Wood wrote a brief sketch). Its success led to the commissioning of Wood's first play, "Talent" (also 1978), starring Hazel Clyne (in a role which had been written for Walters), and which won Wood an award for "Most Promising New Writer". Peter Eckersley, the then-head of drama at Granada Television, saw "Talent" and immediately invited Wood to create a television adaptation. This time Julie Walters took the lead role which had been written for her, while Wood reprised her stage role. [cite web
last =Duguid
first =Mark
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Screenonline - Talent (1979)
work =
publisher =British Film Institute
date =2003-07
url=http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/1241050/index.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-10-18
]

1980-1988

The success of the television version of "Talent" led to Wood writing the "follow-up", "Nearly A Happy Ending". Shortly afterwards, a third Granada play was written and filmed: "Happy Since I Met You", again with Walters alongside Duncan Preston as the male lead. During 1980 she also wrote and starred in the stage play "Good Fun".

Recognising her talent, Eckersley offered Wood a sketch show, though Wood was unsure of the project; she only agreed to go ahead with the programme if Walters received equal billing. Eckersley came up with the obvious title "Wood and Walters",ITV 50: "What Did ITV Do For Me?", interview with Victoria Wood (September 2005).] and the dry run of the show (the pilot episode) was filmed. The programme was arranged to be made into a full series, and went onto co-star Duncan Preston and a cast of other supporting actors. However, in between the filming of the pilot and the series, Eckersley died. Wood cites Eckersley as giving her her first big break, and feels that "Wood and Walters" suffered due to his death. She was not impressed by Brian Armstrong, the emergency fill-in for Eckersley, and was of the opinion that he hired unsuitable supporting actors.cite book
last = Brandwood
first = Neil
title= Victoria Wood – The Biography
edition = 1st Edition
year = 2002
publisher = Boxtree
location = London
id = ISBN 1-85227-982-6
pages =
]

Wood also appeared as a presenter in Yorkshire Television's schools television programme for hard-of-hearing children, "Insight", alongside Derek Griffiths, between 1980 and 1983.

Wood left Granada in 1984 for the BBC, who promised Wood more creative control over projects. Later that year, Wood's sketch show "Victoria Wood As Seen On TV" went into production. This time, Wood chose actors and actresses herself: her friend Julie Walters once again starred, as did Duncan Preston. Wood's friend Celia Imrie was also cast, as well as Susie Blake and Patricia Routledge. "As Seen On TV" was notable for featuring classic sketches such as "Acorn Antiques", a spoof of low-budget soap opera and rumoured to be named after an antiques shop in her birthplace. "Acorn Antiques" became famous in its own right, and was celebrated for characters such as "Mrs Overall" (played by Walters), the deliberately bad camera angles and wobbling sets, as well as Celia Imrie's sarcastic tone as "Miss Babs". The sketches bore more than a passing resemblance to the production values held by ITV soap opera Crossroads in the 1970s. Wood's most popular comic song, "The Ballad of Barry and Freda (Let's Do It)" originated in this show. It tells the story of Freda (a woman eager for sex) and Barry (an introverted man terrified of sex), makes clever use of allusions to a multitude of risqué activities while avoiding all taboo words. [cite web
last =Wood
first =Victoria
coauthors =
title = The Ballad of Barry and Freda (Let's do it!)
work =
publisher =prestel.co.uk
date =
url = http://www2.prestel.co.uk/cello/BarryAndFreda.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-08-27
] There was a second series of "Victoria Wood As Seen On TV" in 1986, followed by a one-off 'special' in 1987.

In 1988, she appeared in the BAFTA-winning "An Audience With Victoria Wood" for ITV. At the time of recording the show, Wood was six months pregnant.

1989-1999

During this period Wood began to move away from the sketch show format and into more self-contained works, often with a more bittersweet flavour. "Victoria Wood (1989)" (six parts) featured Wood in several individual stories such as "We'd Quite Like To Apologise", set in an airport departure lounge, and "Over to Pam", set around a fictional talk show. [cite web|url=http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/1241016/index.html|title=Screenonline - Victoria Wood (1989)|Publisher=Screenonline Online|date=2007] There was a brief return to sketches with the 1992 Christmas Day special "Victoria Wood's All Day Breakfast". [cite web
last =
first =

authorlink =
coauthors =
title =All Day Breakfast (1992)(TV)
work =
publisher =IMDB
date =2007
url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0284621/
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
] The television film, "Pat and Margaret" (1994), starring Wood and Julie Walters as long-lost sisters with very different lifestyles, continued her trend into stand-alone plays with a poignant undercurrent to the comedy. [cite web
last =Duguid
first =Mark
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Screenonline - Pat and Margaret (1994)
work =
publisher =British Film Institute
date =2003-07
url=http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/1246899/index.html
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
] In 1998, she wrote her first sitcom, "dinnerladies" , which continued her now established milieu of mostly female, mostly middle-aged characters depicted vividly and amusingly, but with a counterpoint of sadder themes.cite web
last =Duguid
first =Mark
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Screenonline - dinnerladies (1998-2000)
work =
publisher =British Film Institute
date =2003-07
url=http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/id/578972/index.html
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
]

2000-2005

December 2000 saw the Christmas sketch show special "Victoria Wood with All The Trimmings", [cite web
last =
first =

authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Victoria Wood with All the Trimmings (2000) (TV)
work =
publisher =IMDB
date =2007
url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0272343/
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
] starring her traditional troupe of actors and actresses as well as a string of special guest stars. However, it was during this period that Wood tended to move away from comedy, focusing on drama instead. She did continue to produce one-off specials, though, including "Victoria Wood's Sketch Show Story" (2002) and "Victoria Wood's Big Fat Documentary" (2005). [cite web
last =
first =

authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Victoria Wood's Sketch Show Story
work =
publisher =Simply Stephanie Beacham
date =2007
url=http://simplystephaniebeacham.com/SketchShow/sketchshowstory.html
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
] [cite web
last =
first =

authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Victoria Wood's Big Fat Documentary
work =
publisher =weightlossresources.co.uk
date =2004
url=http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/diet/bigfatdocumentary.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
]

Wood wrote her first musical, "", which opened in 2005 at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London, for a limited period, directed by Trevor Nunn. It starred most of the original cast, with Sally Ann Triplett playing "Miss Berta" (played in the series by Wood). Wood played Julie Walters' character "Mrs. Overall" for matinee performances. [cite web
last =Caroline
first =Briggs
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Mrs Overall Sings Onto The Stage
work =
publisher =BBC News
date =2004-12-02
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/arts/4062051.stm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-08-28
]

2006-present

Wood wrote the 2006 one-off ITV serious drama "Housewife, 49", an adaptation of the real diaries of Nella Last, and played the eponymous role of an introverted middle-aged character who discovers new confidence and friendships in Lancashire during World War II. She won BAFTAs for both her acting and writing for this drama, a rare double. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Victoria Wood Scoops BAFTA Double
work =
publisher =BBC News
date =2007-05-20
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6670797.stm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-10-18
]

In November 2006, Wood directed a revival production of "Acorn Antiques: The Musical!" with a brand new cast. The musical opened at The Lowry in Salford in December and toured the United Kingdom from January to July 2007. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Acorn Antiques: The Musical!
work =
publisher =The Stage
date =2007-08-28
url =http://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/review.php/15334/acorn-antiques-the-musical-
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
]

In January 2007, she appeared as herself in a series of new adverts featuring famous people working for supermarket chain ASDA. The adverts featured Wood working in the ASDA bakery and introduced a new catchphrase for the supermarket - "there's no place like ASDA". [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =A Touch Of Class?
work =
publisher =BBC News
date =2007-05-02
url = http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/6592007.stm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-10-18
] Wood was also the subject of an episode of The South Bank Show in early 2007 and is the only woman to be the subject of two South Bank programmes. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =The South Bank Show
work =
publisher =epguides.com
date =2007-05-02
url = http://epguides.com/SouthBankShow/
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-10-18
]

Wood appeared in her own travel documentary show on BBC One called "Victoria's Empire", in which she travelled around the world in search of the history, cultural impact and customs which the British Empire placed on the parts of the world it ruled. She departed Victoria Station, London for:

* Programme One: Calcutta (India), Hong Kong and Borneo
* Programme Two: Ghana, Jamaica and Newfoundland, Canada
* Programme Three: New Zealand, Australia and Zambia, finishing at the Victoria Falls. [cite webA book, also called "Victoria's Empire", was released to accompany the series in the same year.
last =Mangan
first =Lucy
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =The Weekend's TV: Victoria's Empire
work =
publisher =The Guardian
date =2007-04-30
url = http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/tv/2007/04/last_nights_tv_victorias_empir.html/
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-10-18
]

In a tribute to Wood, the British television station UKTV Gold celebrated her works with a weekend marathon of programmes between 3 November and 4 November 2007. The weekend focused on programmes such as "Victoria Wood Live" and "dinnerladies" in addition to "Victoria Wood As Seen On TV" - this marked the first time it has been shown on British television since its last repeatings in 1995.

Wood returned to stand-up comedy with a special performance written for the celebratory show "Happy Birthday BAFTA" on 28 October 2007, alongside other household names. The programme was transmitted on ITV1 on Wednesday 7 November 2007. [BAFTA Academy events [https://www.bafta.org/site/Jahia/cache/offonce/pid/485] , "Happy Birthday BAFTA". Retrieved 18 October 2007.] On Boxing Day 2007 she appeared as "Nana" in the Granada dramatisation of Noel Streatfeild's novel "Ballet Shoes". [cite web
last =Hemley
first =Matthew
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Wood to star in a BBC1 adaptation Of Ballet Shoes
work =
publisher =The Stage
date =2007-07-20
url = http://www.thestage.co.uk/news/newsstory.php/17473/wood-to-star-in-a-bbc1-adaptation-of-ballet
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-10-18
]

In December 2007, while guesting on the radio programme "Desert Island Discs", Wood said that she was about to commence writing a movie, described as a contemporary comedy about a middle-aged person. This will mark Wood's first outing into film.

On Thursday 12 June 2008, Wood was part of the celebrity guest panel on the series "" on BBC Two.

Associated actors

Wood is notable for frequently including the same actors in her shows. These actors have appeared in most of her work in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s and include - most notably - Julie Walters, Celia Imrie and Duncan Preston, and to a lesser extent Lill Roughley, Anne Reid, Susie Blake, and Andrew Livingston. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = WOOD on Walters on Imrie on Preston on Blake
work =
publisher =prestel.co.uk
date =
url = http://www2.prestel.co.uk/cello/WoodOnWaltersOnImrieOnPrestonOnBlake.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-08-28
] [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = The custard.tv guide to... dinnerladies
work =
publisher =custard.tv
date =2004
url = http://www.thecustard.tv/shows/dinnerladies.html
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-09-17
]

Awards and recognition

Wood has received many awards in her long career. In 1997, she was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Victoria Wood - A Chronology
work =
publisher =prestel.co.uk
date =2003-07
url=http://www2.prestel.co.uk/cello/Chronology.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
] Earlier in 1994, she was made an honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Sunderland. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Alumni
work =
publisher =University of Sunderland
date =2003-07
url=http://alumni.sunderland.ac.uk/htmlver/FAQdowehave.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
] She was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2008 Birthday Honours. [LondonGazette |issue=58729 |date=14 June 2008 |startpage=8 |supp=yes |notarchive=yes]

Her work has also been laden with awards, both by the public and her professional contemporaries.

In 2003, she was listed in "The Observer" as one of the "50 Funniest Acts in British Comedy". [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =The A-Z of laughter (part two)
work =
publisher =The Observer
date =2003-12-07
url=http://arts.guardian.co.uk/features/story/0,,1101525,00.html
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
] In the 2005 Channel 4 poll "The Comedian's Comedian", she was voted 27th out of the top 50 comedy acts ever by fellow comedians and comedy insiders. She was the highest-ranked woman on the list, beating French & Saunders, Joan Rivers and Joyce Grenfell. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Eric Idle // Idleized Heaven // The Daily Dirty Fork - 2005
work =
publisher =eric-idle.com
date =2005
url=http://www.eric-idle.com/ddf05.html
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
]

Her sketch show "Victoria Wood As Seen On TV" won BAFTA awards for its two series and Christmas Special. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Bafta Television and Craft
work =
publisher =Bafta
date =
url =http://www.bafta.org/site/page230.html
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-06-01
] In 2007, she was nominated [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6543857.stm |title=Wood nominated for record BAFTA] for and won [cite web |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/6670797.stm |title=Victoria Wood scoops Bafta double] the BAFTA awards for "Best Actress" and for "Best Single Drama" for her role in the British war-time drama Housewife, 49, in which she plays the part of an ordinary housewife dominated by her moody husband. Wood's character eventually stands up to him and helps the Women's Society in preparations for the British soldiers.

Her popularity with the British public has been confirmed when she won "Best Stand-Up" and "Best Sketch Show" by Radio Times readers in 2001. [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Radio Times Comedy Poll results
work =
publisher =BBC News Online
date =2001-08-21
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/entertainment/tv_and_radio/1501357.stm
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
] Wood was also voted "Funniest Comedian" by the readers of "Readers' Digest" in 2005 [cite web
last =
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =
title =Victoria Wood voted funniest woman
work =
publisher =Manchester Evening News
date =2005-08-17
url=http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/entertainment/comedy/c/170126_victoria_wood_voted_funniest_woman.html?page_size=50
format =
doi =
accessdate =2007-10-18
] and came 8th in ITV's poll of the public's "50 Greatest Stars", four places behind fellow co-star Julie Walters.

Personal life

Wood married magician Geoffrey Durham in March 1980. They separated in October 2002. They have two children, Grace (born 1988) and Henry (born 1992).

She currently lives in Highgate, North London.

Wood is a vegetarian, and once said "I'm all for killing animals and turning them into handbags. I just don't want to have to eat them."cite book
last = Brandwood
first = Neil
title= Victoria Wood – The Biography
edition = 1st Edition
year = 2002
publisher = Boxtree
location = London
id = ISBN 1-85227-982-6
pages =
]

References

External links

*imdb name|0940064
* [http://raretv.blogspot.com/2006/09/talent-granada-television-1979.html In-depth look at her first TV play 'Talent']
*Screenonline name|id=578938|name=Victoria Wood
* [http://carolinescomedybase.tripod.com/victoria.html Profile at Caroline's Comedy Base]
* [http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/W/htmlW/woodvictori/woodvictori.htm Profile at TV Museum]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/talent/w/wood_victoria.shtml Victoria Wood at BBC Comedy Guide]
* [http://www.cello.prestel.co.uk/Chronology.htm A Chronology]
* [http://www.cello.prestel.co.uk/songs.htm Songs and Sketches]
* [http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/showbiz/s/216/216494_victoria_wood_to_return_to_drama.html Return to drama (Manchester Evening News)]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/articles/2007/04/17/victoria_wood_video_feature.shtml BBC Writers Room - Video and text interview with Victoria Wood about writing comedy]
* [http://news.independent.co.uk/people/profiles/article2559992.ece The Independent - The 5-Minute Interview: Victoria Wood, comedian and writer]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Victoria Wood — ➡ Wood (II) * * * …   Universalium

  • Victoria Wood (1989 TV series) — Victoria Wood Victoria Wood with Patricia Hodge and Jim Broadbent in Staying In , 1989 Format Comedy Created by Victoria Wood …   Wikipedia

  • Victoria Wood As Seen On TV — Infobox British television show name = Victoria Wood As Seen On TV size = caption = Victoria Wood As Seen On TV opening titles genre = Comedy picture format = 4:3 full screen runtime = 30 minutes (per episode) creator = Victoria Wood starring =… …   Wikipedia

  • Victoria Wood As Seen On TV documentaries — Spoof mini documentaries that were part of the BBC television comedy sketch series Victoria Wood As Seen On TV . Usually lasting around five minutes, they dealt with such topics as a girl who wanted to swim the channel and an old man moving into… …   Wikipedia

  • Victoria Wood with All The Trimmings — Infobox British television show name = Victoria Wood with All The Trimmings size = caption = genre = Comedy picture format = 4:3 full screen runtime = 55 minutes creator = Victoria Wood starring = Victoria Wood Julie Walters Celia Imrie Susie… …   Wikipedia

  • Victoria Wood's All Day Breakfast — A one off, fifty minute comedy sketch show special, written by and starring comedian Victoria Wood. Broadcast on Christmas day 1992.The show was linked by Duncan Preston and Wood as husband and wife daytime TV presenters Martin Cumbernauld and… …   Wikipedia

  • List of Victoria Wood As Seen On TV episodes — This is an episode listing for the BBC television show Victoria Wood As Seen On TV , with the episodes original airdates listed.eries 1how 1(Broadcast 11 January 1985) *Stand up: The Radio Station (Victoria Wood) *Bunbury Homes (Duncan Preston)… …   Wikipedia

  • Wood (surname) — Wood, also spelled Wode, Woode, Woodde, or Wad is a surname that is common throughout the anglophone world.In England, Wales and the Isle of Man it is the 26th most common surname [cite web last = first = authorlink = coauthors = title =Most… …   Wikipedia

  • Victoria's Empire — was a three part travel series that first appeared on television in 2007 on the television station BBC One. It was fronted by comedienne and actress Victoria Wood. Wood travelled around the world in search of the history, cultural impact and… …   Wikipedia

  • Wood and Walters — Infobox British television show name = Wood And Walters size = 250px] caption = Victoria Wood and Julie Walters in Wood And Walters, Granada Television, 1982 format = Comedy picture format = runtime = 25 minutes per episode creator = Victoria… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.